I am bad at recognizing sarcasm. Call it a fault, call it a failure, call it shocking.  I’m bad at it and have absolutely NO DESIRE to get better at it.

I usually respond as if the person is honestly saying what they are saying.  Unless it is wildly obvious (through tone, which I’m also bad at reading the subtleties of, or ridiculousness of subject) that the person is being obtuse or ridiculous or just plain mean for a humorous effect, I generally don’t get it.  And often get mocked or looked at like I’m a simpleton for the fact that my first reaction is to believe in the honesty of people.  Worse, when the sarcastic comment seems to plea for assistance that I can give, I give it with out hesitation.  Then, an entire group of people looks at me with something akin to horror and pity, and some one–usually the perpetrator of said sarcasm–says it wasn’t meant that way.  I feel foolish, as do the other people, because something that should be used sparingly is now being used so often that I cannot determine whether my friends mean what they say, much less if strangers do.

I HATE sarcasm.  I use it rarely and, when I do, I make sure I am being wildly obvious.  I hate that sarcasm and mockery has become the primary communication tool of my generation–especially over the internet when tone and intention are IMPOSSIBLE to determine.  We, as a culture, are using sarcasm as an excuse to be rude or to say what we want to say without dealing with the consequences.  People, own your opinions–even if you know other people won’t like them.  Either that or keep them to yourselves if you know that what you say isn’t okay.  What you are doing is an inappropriate use of what USED to be and can still be a great tool.

So here’s the deal: Sarcasm is not humor.  It is not witty.  It does not mask your contempt for those around you.  It could be all these things if used appropriately.  Instead, with the frequency it is used, it has become something altogether more terrible and hurtful, all under the excuse of, “Well, that’s just my sense of humor.”  No.  It is simple-minded.  It is rude.  It reveals your disdain for others.  With it, you anger people.  You alienate people.  You hurt people.

It is NOT funny.